Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bristling in a Bloomberg Combover

Liz B has the following exchange between Mayor Mike and the DN's Frank Lombardi on the horsetrading and implicit threats being leveled before the city council votes on the mayor's term limits bill; and the intrepid Room 9 reporter goes a long way towards exposing the mayor's attempt to portray himself as apolitical:

"Lombardi: “Well, I’m sorry Mr. Mayor, but there’s some level of threat in this conduct...”
Bloomberg: "I don't know any."
Lombardi: "...For instance one councilmember said he was told by the speaker’s office they’ll remember how he voted when it comes time to restructure the Council.”
To which the mayor responds in non sequitor, Professor Irwin Corey fashion; or maybe it's Phineas T. Bluster-like:

"Bloomberg: "You have a responsibility to decide, to tell people, the public, how people vote. That’s why we have a democracy where you vote in public to do exactly what you are saying. I’m glad to know that it’s working. People should be on the line and say explicitly what they’re in favor of and what they didn’t. I still fail to see what your problem is.”

Anyone understand this obfuscation? But Bloomberg goes on to accuse Lombardi of trying to criminalize the speaker's actions-distracting attention away from the unseemly collusion between both ends of city hall:

- Lombardi: "There’s a carrot and a stick method to get people to do what you want them to do. You know that’s going on."
Bloomberg: "Let us know and you can write it out, whenever you have a question, I’d be glad to answer."
Lombardi: "I've asked my question Mr. Mayor, you seem to..."
Bloomberg: "As far as I know, our end of City Hall has no ability to do it, and Number 2, we don’t work that way. And I can tell you that Christine Quinn is as good a public servant, as honest as anybody I’ve ever worked with, and if you want to accuse her of doing something dishonest I think...”
Lombardi: "No, Mr. Mayor, I’m not saying dishonest, that’s your words."

Wow. This mayor really has his elitist slip showing, doesn't he? We think this has the potential to get even worse-Mike Bloomberg's not used to being challenged, preferring to hand out Papal Bulls to his subjects. It appears that the journey under to get under his thin skin is a short trip indeed. And the strong arming that is taking place at the city council, if it becomes fully known, will add to the climate change.

As the NY Post reports this morning, the speaker is working hard to pass the mayor's bill; with Finance Chair Weprin apparently being threatened with the loss of his post: "Sources said Councilman David Weprin (D-Queens) could be stripped of his post as chairman of the Finance Committee for speaking out against legislation engineered by Mayor Bloomberg and Quinn to allow officials to serve a third term."

If true, we wonder where the Queens Democratic County leadership will stand, since Weprin's ascension is as a result of its support of the speaker. Still, it's liable to get even more ugly as the debate intensifies-and as Congressman Weiner ramps up his populist opposition in preparation for a Bloomberg challenge. As reporters like Lombardi report a "testy" mayor and an arm twisting speaker, and as the public begins to realize what's transpired, we may even eventually see Bloomberg bristling passed the graveyard.